Good news/bad news about new DMG

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elderbrain
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Good news/bad news about new DMG

First, the good news: Aasimar (called by that name) appear in the DMG as a PC race, in the section on creating new races and sub-races. Only part of the racial details are shown in the preview (the page cuts off and the remainder is on a page not shown) but it looks like it may be reasonable for PS play. Now as for the bad news (sigh)... blink elves are back, still using their stolen "Eladrin" name. I thought they had been folded into the "High Elf" entry in the PH and that it was a dead issue. Silly me!

sciborg2
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Damn that's frustrating.

Thanks for the info!

On Eladrin -> Damn that's frustrating. Though it could always be retconned with Eladrin being ancestors from which the fey races took some of their bloodlines. IIRC that was hinted at in the Planescape literature, that fey & elves & eladrin were all connected by some common ancestor?

Kaelyn
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Quote: fey & elves & eladrin

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fey & elves & eladrin were all connected by some common ancestor?

No no no no no no no. No, it wasn't. You go to Carceri for that remark and stay there. Or at least Curst.

I mean, elves and fey, yeah. They're said to be related in a lot of places going all the way back to the original Monster Manual.

The thing is that eladrins as created by Rich Baker for the Planescape Monstrous Compendium II are not a very good design from a cosmological perspective. There's actually a lot of pretty unoriginal design in that book, with a lot of monsters in there just being planar versions of prime creatures.

And the basic thought of "I guess the Arborean celestials would be elflike" makes a certain amount of sense, but pretty much doomed the race to the ignominious end we saw in 4th edition and today (with only Pathfinder's azata remaining unsullied).

Don't get me wrong, Tony DiTerlizzi's illustrations are beautiful and as standalone monsters there's nothing wrong with eladrins.

But they're so much like elves and faeries that again and again, for however many decades it's been now, we keep hearing people speculate about how elves and eladrins might be related.

We don't hear people wondering about how hound archons are related to gnolls, or how slaadi are related to mundane frogs, or how modrons and polyhedral dice might share a common ancestor, or how baatezu are close kin to gargoyles.

But always, always people link eladrins and elves. Because eladrins are too much like elves. They're not varied enough to stand as the representatives of chaotic good.

Think about all the creatures that can be chaotic good: bronze dragons, titans, storm giants. But the plane that represents their souls is personified by creatures that universally look like elves.

3rd edition did a little better by eladrins by adding the shiradi, who only look slightly elflike, and Pathfinder has lillendi as an azata subrace, but obviously it's not enough because 4th edition's designers asked themselves what WotC-copyrighted name they could give the sidhe and they picked eladrins. The name really isn't as good as just calling them sidhe but the ship has sailed and what's done is done. And you know what? Good riddance. Eladrins made terrible celestials because so many people never quite believed that was what they were. Even marvelous, creative Sciborg is spouting the baatezu propaganda that they're mere elf-cousins and not unthinkably ancient personifications of benign chaos who happen to have vaguely elflike forms, which is what they should be.

Think about Arborea's history for a moment, once ruled by giants before the elf-gods conquered it. And think about how the eladrins were contemporaries of the obyriths tens of thousands of years before. They can't be related to the elves. And if they were then the whole Great Wheel is out of balance. The Abyss has tanar'ri in all their infinite forms. Baator has baatezu in their scaly, chitinous, or fleshy glory. Limbo has the slaadi, Mechanus has modrons, the Outlands has rilmani, Celestia has archons that look like a bunch of different animal people, Elysium has guardinals that look pretty much the same as archons, and Arborea has... magic super-elves?

No. D&D has plenty of examples of faeries and elves. It didn't need the eladrins to be associated with them. What it needs is a race that personifies chaotic good in the same way archons personify lawful good and tanar'ri personify chaotic evil, a spiritual race independent of any small sliver of mortals. A race with a variety of different forms capable of representing all chaotic good beings equally.

And really, no matter how hard they wanted eladrins to be that, they never really were. Everyone kept confusing them with elf-kin, or with leShay.

So let eladrins be elves. Get them the hell out of Arborea and replace them with something that works.

Unsung
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Big ups (and massive props,

Big ups (and massive props, etc) to Kaelyn on this. The Eladrin have a good name, and a lot of interesting history surrounds that name, but they are pretty underwhelming when you actually get to look at them. Though I'm inclined to suggest that having the Fey as a major player on the Great Wheel wouldn't be such a bad thing either, if they could be as fickle and downright terrifying as in, say, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell-- as varied as the folklore, from sprites to fauns, nymphs, dryads, and unicorns, elves and gnomes-- even fey goblins and barghests. It would fit with their chaotic nature in interesting ways if they were not all uniformly good, or chaotic, or even immortal exemplars. And they already come with any number of unique archfey: Oberon, Titania, Mab, Puck and Ariel, and that's just the ones from Shakespeare.

It's also saying something that making the Eladrin more varied just made them even more elflike. There were already aquatic elves, and winged elves, and different-coloured elves, elves with weird magic powers, elves who were seemingly immortal and semidivine. The Rilmani are basically just metallic humanoids of different colours, but they do manage to seem more exotic than the various eladrin. If only because elves are already so magical in most settings, D&D or otherwise.

Kaelyn
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Quote:Though I'm inclined to

Quote:
Though I'm inclined to suggest that having the Fey as a major player on the Great Wheel wouldn't be such a bad thing either, if they could be as fickle and downright terrifying as in, say, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell-- as varied as the folklore, from sprites to fauns, nymphs, dryads, and unicorns, elves and gnomes-- even fey goblins and barghests. It would fit with their chaotic nature in interesting ways if they were not all uniformly good, or chaotic, or even immortal exemplars.

Sure, if they were based in the Seelie Court. Or the Unseelie Court, or the Elflands or Faerie or the Feywild or whatever you prefer to call it.

And I should say that despite my criticisms there is a real need for an equivalent of the daoine sidhe in D&D. Various editions have done this different ways. The sidhe in the Celts Campaign Sourcebook were lightly modified elves. The sidhe in Tall Tales of the Wee Folk could look like any demihuman but were definitely fey. The ones in the Birthright's Blood Spawn: Creatures of Light and Shadow were exceptionally well done. The 3rd edition Manual of the Planes just recommended giving celestial or fiendish templates to elves to represent the Seelie and Unseelie Courts. The plane of Faraenyl in Beyond Countless Doorways just had elves and goblins and standard D&D fey in it but still managed a lot of flavor. Bastion Press's Faeries called the fey nobles the feorin. The Complete Guide to Fey from Goodman Games called them the shee.

But still, the Feywild, with its "eladrin" nobles, fomorian sorcerers, and gnome and goblin commoners, is probably the best translation of faerie legends to D&D that I've seen, and it's probably better to support that than to support a celestial race that wasn't really doing what it was intended to do.

sciborg2
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Quote:Even marvelous,

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Even marvelous, creative Sciborg is spouting the baatezu propaganda that they're mere elf-cousins and not unthinkably ancient personifications of benign chaos who happen to have vaguely elflike forms, which is what they should be.

Apologies, I really thought there was a reference to this connection in the PS books. Must have been some fan material.

Kaelyn
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You don't need to apologize.

You don't need to apologize. You just gave me material to launch my rant off of.

Avenging Kobold
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A review of the DMG which has

A review of the DMG which has some pictures of the section covering the planes. There's 2 Modron illustrations shown and interestingly enough they do show a map of the inner planes with some of the locations that were described as being the border elemental/material before. The Isle of Dread is now in the Elemental Plane of Water according to that map.